The current presidential election is disturbing. I am a U.S. citizen by birth and residence. I have voted in prior elections and elections for other things in other groups. Some ended as I wished and others not so.
I was always satisfied and accepted the outcome because I knew that there would be a next time for my favored candidate or side to try again. What I have to say now is serious for me but not for everyone who may read this. I will briefly run through my list of those who should not read further. If you are just too young to care or in prison for such a long time that it will make no difference or terminally ill in the short run then you should not read further. Also, if you are one of the many who did not have time or did not want to vote and you feel that you will next time and there will be a next time, then you should not read further.
If your party or candidate does win or if either wins and you feel that that is just fine and that the winners will do something about changing the existing methods or system so that the current morass does not happen again, then you should not read further. Just remember though, that the politicians who ran in this election are accustomed to the way the current system works and they have won their place by working within it and making it work for them and so they will be reluctant to change it, even in the face of public clamor for some kind of change. The political parties and special interests who both are adept at using the current system will also want to maintain it. Last, but not least, the media who have made such an economic gain from this (they do not have to pay any actors or construct locations but only to provide some newspeople) while they raise their viewer ratings would like to probably like to see it more often, like every couple of years. The prospect for change seems dim.
That leads me to my reservations about how to feel about this presidential election. If someone is dissatisfied with the outcome, will the chance come to try again? If that someone feels that the outcome was due to a fairly sound working of the system as it is supposed to be, a fair one where the winner is the one who truly won, then there is not a single doubt that four years down the road there will be another chance to be on the winning side. If you feel that way you should not read further. But if the winner and his party did so by outright chicanery or manipulation of the system then you must feel that they are dishonest and will do anything to win. Believing that then what do you expect in four or even two years from now, after they have had time to set up for a bigger win next time. Will you vote be counted or will you even be able to vote?
In the past how many elections were won by one person or by one side so heavily that a few lost votes or non counted votes or even a lot of simply ignored votes did not make much difference. The system worked because there was no real tight and heavily contested election for such an important office. There could be honor among politicians as they knew how the system worked and it is better to live and let live and fight again another day. With this election the obvious faults of the process are glaring and without changing them there can be no trust in another close election. So, why not just talk about changing the system and make sure that next time there is no serious challenge to the winner. He will win by a landslide. How do you do that? If you can steal one close election then you must be able to do a better job next time. It will not be that close but enough so to keep the system alive. Will the voters accept that? If you feel that they will then you should not read further. Our system of government is only as good as the people who govern using the rules of our system. If they violate those rules to win an election should they still govern? Are they capable of doing more than altering the system to suit their needs, not for just winning an election the next time but for personal gain or glory or whatever it is that motivates political personalities? Will their tampering with the system, claiming that the changes are necessary to prevent another fiasco like the present one, just be a cover to take away some of the privileges granted by the constitution. They have already taken away the privilege to select those who govern so why not something else. Even the rights set forth in the first ten amendments cannot continue to be held sacred if they get in the way of election and reelection of proven political winners.
Our three branch system of checks and balances will bring a maverick branch back into line if the other two are manned by honest people who respect and honor the constitution. But the current situation only illustrates that the judiciary are subject to the same desires as the winning politician and most of the legislatures are little more than a cheering section for the winning politician and his party after they have aided him in his all out conquest of the presidency.
What right does he have to his office if he violated your trust to reach it? What right does the judicial system have to respect when they pander to a party rather than to the law they do not make but are supposed to judge? What right do the peoples’ representatives have to make laws that tell you what to do and not to do when they accept this farce and become willing partners in the crime with the explanation that they will work harder to make things better? If you think what I say is nonsense and do not believe that all these people who govern are on the same side and of the same stripe as the winner of this election then you should not read further.
I was in Rio de Janeiro on July 4, 1976, (the bicentennial of our independence) and the local English language newspaper had the U.S. Declaration of Independence censored from it’s front page (a big white space where it was to run was there instead) because it was considered too provocative in that country at that time. That incident made me reread it with a more intense interest. It is a document all Americans should read when seeking guidance in times of governmental crisis. If you think that some words written 224 years ago do not have much meaning now you should not read further.
The following quote is from our Declaration of Independence:
"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security."
So, I must ask myself, and you, if you have read this far, is the current presidential election just a single happenstance or is it a dazzling light now shed upon a long "Train of Abuses and Usurpations"? This may sound like too strong a reaction because a lack of facts to support what is stated above means what is stated may not be true. But fact supported truth is not necessary to sustain a belief in what has happened.
Finally, no matter how the final tally comes in or how you feel about it, the political situation as it existed on November 7, 2000, will never again be accepted as it was then in this country. The question then is not "how do you feel about it" but "what are you going to do about it"?